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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off i'm new here, picked up a 540i last week, and I'm in love....I'm sure I will be spending many nights on here.. so with that said, HI ALL !

ok, so here is the deal, my hood release was working fine,,, I came home from a 3 hour trip and thought I'd check things out, and pop the hood, No pop, No nuffin.

the inside pull, pulls up all the way, thinking the cable broke ( as you know there is no easy way to pop the hood if it is broke) Tried everything... so I'm thinking the cable broke, and I went ahead and pulled on the inside cable, and low and be hold the passenger side poped.. not the driver.

So i did all the push pull crap, and nothing works, the Grill release lever comes out, but the Driver side will not release.

Any help PLEASE. and how do I get in under the hood If I can not get the hood to release???


Thanks all... and I found a new home :)
 

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I'm not familiar with the 540i, but my 528 (right hand drive) has an unused 100mm diameter access hole in the driver's side wheel nacelle right next to the a/c accumulator. You can get your hand up through that hole and grab the cable pull where it snakes around the engine bay and maybe pop the catch, assuming your cabin pull lever has packed up. You have to jack the car up, remove the front wheel and the moulded wheel arch liner to see the hole (it has a plastic push-fit cap.That access is probably the air intake for the V8 engine so you might'nt be able to use that.

That leaves your only option to carefully pop out the plastic grill/s using a flexible flat blade (it's best to see them on another BMW first to understand what you have to do) and then to push the catch lever (which you will have to feel blind) with some kind of straight rod, about 5 mm diameter, to release the catch. I can release the passenger side catch by hooking the catch lever with my index finger.

As you live in the northern hemisphere you'll have to reverse all these instructions.
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, But ?

The Pass side pops, do you know if I can get the Driver side to pop doing what you say??

.. also, why do think the driver side does not pop, but the other side does??

Its seems that if anything, the Pass side would be the one that wouldn't pop, seeing that the cable is coming from the driver side to begin with.

Well, thanks for your help, this is turning in to a night mare.
 

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One possible explanation why the passenger's side catch still operates could be because the swaging on the cable that engages the driver's side catch has slipped or, more likely,it's popped out of its housing. It's very similar to the brake pull on a bicycle.

Regardless of the yet to be discovered reason for your torment, I believe that getting the plastic grill out (probably just the passenger's side to get the better approach angle) is the only way to fix your problem. From this position the passenger's catch will respond to a "pull" whilst the driver's catch will need a "push"

It seems this problem is not that uncommon (it also happened to a friend's 528 Tourer) but when it happened to me I couldn't find any help anywhere. The local specialist in European cars thought I might have to cut a hole in the bonnet (hood). BMW said they'd never heard of it.

When I eventually popped the driver's side catch by pushing as described, I drilled out all the spot welds that secured the covering plate over the workings and rigged up an emergency cable pull that lays coiled up in the wheel nacelle. I've also made up a tool that makes it easy to remove the grills without opening the bonnet.
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
THANK you Rock,

That is the best help I have received, and believe me I have search high and low.

Good point about taking the Pass side out too. Is there a way to take the grills out with out braking them?? I have checked already and I see there not that expensive.

I have to go out of town tonight, I'm dieing to work on it and fix it, so going to work on it today. other wise I'l have to wait until Friday :(

Thank you so so much Rock.
 

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I wanna DRIVE!
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236 Posts
Not sure if this will help, but...

If you are getting a release on the passenger side, it sounds like the cable may not be your problem.

I had a problem with my hood that sounds somewhat similar. I would pull on the hood release inside the car, and get nothing. I would then push down on the hood right above the catch, try again, and again nothing. Then I would pull the release, pull up on the hood. After two or three attempts, first pushing then pulling, the hood would release. On one or two occasions, I had my son pull on the hood release while I alternatively pushed down, then pulled up.

I'm not sure how to fix a bowden cable, but here is what I did.

To correct this problem, I loosened the upper part of the hood lock, and moved it slightly. The upper part of the hood lock is number 16 here.

If you look downward into the lower part of hood lock, you can see the catch that engages into the upper. I moved the upper just slightly away from the catch on both sides, and it has worked fine every since. Make sure if you move the upper that it is properly tightened before you close the hood. If loose, the lock will not disengage. (Come to think of it, this might also be part of your problem).
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the help...

Here is were I'm at now, I got the grill off (I went flying when it poped off) I used a cotter key extractor, its a screw driver with I point that has a bend on the end. So I pushed the latch, and nothing happen'd tried a few ways, still nothing. The Pass side is poped, but will not pop back. the Lever on the bottom left is out. I tried to pry as I was pushing the latch, and still won't budge.

I do think you are right about the cable, it seems to be ok. just the latch is not poping, and it is pushed as far as it will go.

.. and other Ideas??


Thanks again to all....
 

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The passenger side is the only side that has a latch. Once that pops, pull up on the hood and a latch should come out of the front grill area. Pull up on the latch and open the hood.
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, here is my update, Been working on this for the past 3 hours.

The lever on the Driver side moves, but no pop, I really think it should move more then it does. The Pass side poped as I said before... Could the cable coming from the Pass side be the trouble?? (not giving enough to let the Driver side slide all the way?)

I had my Nab over, and we pushed pulled in every way you can think of....

I sprayed the latches with WD40.... still no POP

I just picked this car up last weekend, and just getting to know it, what a way to do that... GRRRRR. Am I missing something like another locking devise?? Its a 540iA 1997.


Thanks again...ALL

My hair is getting pulled out by the minute.
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ryan,

I meant the Release pins,, I have opened the hood many times in the last week with no problem.
 

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Ryan,

I meant the Release pins,, I have opened the hood many times in the last week with no problem.
:rofl:

I was going to say.........

Sorry for the confusion
 

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Retired Hotness!
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921 Posts
Di you have your neighb pull on the release in the car while you tried to lift the hood slightly... It could be that the spring on the hood guide pin is no good on the drivers side. or as soeone mentioned the drivers side release is not being pulled by the cable.

Sorry I cannot be of more help.... This would frustrate the hell out of me.... When you purchased the car did it work?
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Shwell

Yes it all worked fine, and yes you did the whole push pull, While he pulled from inside, and also pushing the lever underneath, and push pulling.

Thanks again all.... I have NO clue what to do.
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OMG!!!!!!

as I was about to start crying, I thought I'd give it a pull from inside, like i have done 1000 times already, and POOF I heard a click, said a prayer, and went to open the hood. I it opened up like nothing was ever wrong.

Thanks all of you for your help, maybe the WD40 worked its way in, no idea, but its open.


GOING TO MAKE A DRINK

Take care
 

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OMG!!!!!!

as I was about to start crying, I thought I'd give it a pull from inside, like i have done 1000 times already, and POOF I heard a click, said a prayer, and went to open the hood. I it opened up like nothing was ever wrong.

Thanks all of you for your help, maybe the WD40 worked its way in, no idea, but its open.

GOING TO MAKE A DRINK

Take care
Way too funny. Some times sh!t just happens that way. :rofl: Now what do you do? Aren't you a little paranoid it will happen again? :dunno:

dj
 

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97' 540i
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332 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
lol, Ya a bit,

But I lub'd up everything, took the little plastic box off the side and put lub down each cable end, and also lower'd the Lock posts down a half turn... works like a charm now, smoother too.

Take care all.. Going to pick up my hair on the Garage floor. :)
 
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